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Textbook Alternatives & Open Educational Resources (OER): Home

This page was created for faculty members ready to adopt a new textbook or choose supporting materials for an upcoming class. Find information on locating or creating non-traditional learning materials and lower-cost paths to traditional texts.

Want to Chat About Alternative Learning Material Options?

Auraria Library librarians have strengthened their expertise to assist faculty interested in using Library resources or Open Educational Resources (OER’s) in place of textbooks, or as supplementary learning material. Support and consultations are available to advise and support faculty who wish to learn more about identifying and embedding Library materials or OER’s into their online learning environments. We're also happy to consult on copyright issues associated with creating or adapting learning materials.

Cheaper or Better Alternatives?

Sometimes a traditional textbook fits a class beautifully. Sometimes not so much .

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8012/7658278494_cb249e8094_b.jpgStudents love avoiding sky-high textbook costs.

Faculty are interested in locating, adapting, or creating materials that more precisely match assignments, lectures, and class goals, and perhaps offer interactive or multimedia options that might most effectively teach concepts and spice up the learning experience.

This guide offers alternatives to textbooks and other educational materials that may offer flexibility, affordability, or both.

Image: Student by CollegeDegrees360 licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Alternatives to Pricey Textbooks

  • Locate Open Educational Resources (OER):  Freely available, openly licensed, accessible resources, used for educational purposes.
  • Consider assigning older edition of textbooks, if feasible.: Or let students know if an older edition is ok. Caution: Make sure older editions include any required supplementary materials or online access associated with the new edition.
  • Create, adapt, or find textbooks: See sites that offer support in creating course materials to complement your teaching, or allows you to edit or adapt open learning materials created by others.
  • Rent or Purchase: textbook cost comparison sites. They frequently reveal competitively priced books and chapters for purchase and rental.
  • Select a more general book as the "textbook." 
  • Place the Library's or your own physical materials on Reserve:

Linking to Learning Materials

Integrate relevant writings, images, interactive learning materials, and media into your course by linking to them or embedding them in online learning environments, including Canvas, Blackboard, D2L, Library Reserves, or a Library Research guide created for your class. Note that many Library-supplied materials have unique stable URL's or an embed code.

   •  Free Quality Books Online.  No cost ebooks.

     Open Educational Resources (OER's)

Would you like to integrate a search box on your online teaching environment leading to the Library's home page search box or a particular database?  Auraria Library librarians can help you do that.

Librarian

Kevin Seeber
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1100 Lawrence St
Denver, CO 80204
303-556-4298
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